Many people are nervous nowadays about hackers. Slate.com ran a story recently discussing Matt Honan’s, a writer for Wired Magazine, experiences with being hacked. In August, Honan’s Apple account was hacked, and all of the data on his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook was erased. In addition, the hacker deleted his Google account and hijacked his Twitter account, using it to post racist and obscene comments. Something this story puts into sharp focus is the fact that everyone can get hacked.
However, the story also provided some good news: There are steps that consumers might take to make it much less likely that they’ll suffer Honan’s fate. And it all starts with two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication is a way to protect your accounts by requiring you to enter in a code after you enter the password for your accounts. This might seem unnecessary, but if you only have one password safeguarding your accounts, this is not enough to deter hackers today. Two-factor authentication can be the difference between your accounts being hacked and keeping your accounts secure.
How it works
Two-factor authentication has been enabled for all Google accounts. You are able to download the app for your smartphone or mobile device. Then when you log into your account you will type both your password and the code that Google has given you.
Don’t own a smartphone? You may use the two-factor authentication system with your PC or Mac as well. Just log into your Google accounts and Google will text or call you to supply you with your personal code.
Not widely used
While this is a good way to protect your accounts, not a lot of people are using it as it can be a bit of a hassle. People don’t want an extra step when logging into their personal accounts. But neither do hackers. So if you needed to make the choice between being hacked or dealing with an extra step, you will almost certainly choose to take that extra step to safeguard yourself.